Ear, nose, throat and eye swabs
Please clearly indicate if certain pathology is suspected as specific additional culture media and methodology is required for certain organisms. For throat or oropharyngeal swabs this is relevant for Diptheria, meningococcal carriage, candidiasis, Vincent’s angina, Staph aureus carriage (see also MRSA screen ordering) and whooping cough/Bordetella pertussis. In the case of whooping cough a pernasal (not a standard nose swab) is required.
For eye swabs: If acanthamoeba is suspected in an eye infection please refer to information on acanthamoeba testing. If chlamydial testing in addition to routine culture is required e.g in ophthalmia neoatorum please ensure that a specific chlamydial swab is sent in addition to a routine Amies swab.
Use Amies swab transport medium (colourless blue top) - from hospital patients, for non in-patients please use Amies charcoal swabs (Black top)
Do NOT send dry swabs. For isolation of Bordetella pertussis the causative agent of whooping cough please send a pernasal swab which is distinct from a throat swab. If Chlamydia testing in addition to routine culture is required ensure that a specific chlamydial swab is sent in addition to a routine Amies swab.
pernasal swabs are used for cases of suspected whooping cough.
North Wing - 5th Floor
Westminster Bridge Road
London SE1 7EH
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Last updated: 27/11/2017